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Under Its Generous Dome:
The Collections and Programs of the American Antiquarian Society

This electronic version of the guide to AAS collections and programs is, in effect, the third edition of the work that began with publication in book form in 1987 as The Collections and Programs of the American Antiquarian Society: A 175th-Anniversary Guide and continued in 1992 with an updated, second edition paperback complete with a new title, Under Its Generous Dome: The Collections and Programs of the American Antiquarian Society. The 1992 text has been on the AAS website for some time, but this version represents a substantial revision and updating of the basic text, and supplies some digital bells and whistles as wellenough to warrant calling it the Third Edition, or maybe, since it is digital, Version 3.0.

Being digital, this electronic guidebook to AAS is not now nor will it ever be finished in the same way a printed book is. Version 3.0 includes new illustrations of many items from the collections described, a variety of sidebar enhancements, hot links to in-house finding aids and checklists, additional links to other institutions websites, as well as comments from scholars who have worked at AAS that highlight the research value of particular collections. A grid is being developed that will provide quick access to information about the current cataloging status of each collection. The electronic Under Its Generous Dome will continue to be updated with new sidebars, links, and other enhancements. Version 3.0, in other words, will give way, before too long, to Version 3.1, and then 3.2, without much further ado. So please continue to watch this space.

The main title of this guide, Under Its Generous Dome, is a phrase in the preface to Esther Forbess Pulitzer Prize-winning book Paul Revere and the World He Lived In (1942), part of her acknowledgment of the great help that the AAS library and staff provided her in researching and writing the book. The AAS staff in the decades since Esther Forbes labored in our domed, Palladian reading room have continued and enriched the tradition of providing generous assistance to researchers who come to work here. This digital version is meant to be an invitation to researchers everywhere to explore the riches of the Society's collections and the generously offered services of its staff.

Joanne Chaison, AAS research librarian, and Caroline Stoffel, online services librarian, oversaw the project and served as editors of the work. Many AAS staff members worked diligently to update collection and program descriptions, building on the work of colleagues dating back to the first edition. The editors are grateful to all of them and also to Terri Tremblay, assistant curator of graphic arts, for her assistance in scanning numerous materials.

John B. Hench
Vice President for Collections and Programs
September 21, 2002

Under Its Generous Dome




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